It’s been almost four years since society was last reminded that the SyFy Channel’s Sharknado “film” series was a thing, so you know what that means: time for tired jokes about tired reboots, everyone! Also, probably time for a tired reboot, if we’re being glumly honest about the state of popular media.
In this case, TV execs are probably paying attention to the Sharkcano—a very real, very erupting volcano-turned-shark-ecosystem in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Shhhh. And do you hear that? If you can listen closely enough, you can hear the distant clackity-clack of a team of ghostwriters cobbling together their made-for-TV spec script starring whatever C-listers are available and/or in need of condo mortgage money.
The latest Sharkcano news comes courtesy of cameras aboard NASA’s Landsat 9 satellite, which recently snapped images of the underwater volcano—its real name Kavachi—showing the telltale greenish plumes of incredibly hot, acidic water billowing up from the formation’s mouth just 63-feet below the ocean’s surface.
As Smithsonian Magazine notes, Kavachi (named after a sea god of the Indigenous Gatokae and Vangunu peoples) has near-continuously erupted since at least 1939, but despite its seemingly inhospitable environment, it plays host to an incredibly diverse and resilient ecosystem populated by microbial organisms, zooplankton, various reef fish, and more than a few shark species... hence, y’know, the nickname.
“The presence of these animals in such extreme conditions poses new questions centered on the resiliency of marine animals to rapid changes in their environments…,” wrote researchers in 2014. “Do these groups have a greater chance of surviving human-induced changes to ocean chemistry and periods of increased submarine volcanism on a global scale?”
In other, less rosy words: Perhaps the only things that will survive our wanton global destruction are the animals that hide out in active underwater volcanoes. If anyone’s earned it, it’s them—certainly not the species responsible for Sharknado: The 4th Awakens.
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